Michael Cooper Moves to The Times Culture Desk

Michael Cooper (Photo via Twitter).

Michael Cooper (Photo via Twitter).

Michael Cooper will move over to the culture desk, The New York Times culture editor Danielle Mattoon announced this afternoon. Mr. Cooper, who was covering urban affairs as a national correspondent for the paper, will begin covering classical music and dance in August.

“For those of you who don’t know him, we are all in for a treat,” Times culture editor Danielle Mattoon wrote in an announcement that went out this afternoon. “Walk around the newsroom and start asking people to give you a few examples of great work from Michael and the response tends to be some version of: ‘How much time do you have?'”

Mr. Cooper started at the Times during his freshman year of college 24 years ago, where he was a night copy boy. From that auspicious beginning, he cycled through the Metro section before becoming Albany bureau chief in 2004. He has been on the National Desk since 2008, where he chronicled the effects of the recession on state and local governments and covered John McCain’s presidential campaign. More recently, he worked on a number of stories about the Boston marathon coverage.

“As for his cultural credentials, let me cut to the chase: he was the dancing teacup in Ravel’s ‘L’enfant et les sortileges’ as a 10-year-old member of the Metropolitan Opera children’s chorus, where he also performed in Puccini’s ‘La Boheme,’ and Stravinsky’s ‘La Rossignol’ among other operas,” Ms. Mattoon wrote.

Also noted in the announcement is Mr. Cooper’s stint playing guitar in a high school band, where he played at the now-defunct CBGBs and the fact that he has watched at least five versions of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ cycle.